The Geometric Mouse

Press Release

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  • Claes Oldenburg

"'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."

I.C. is pleased to present an exhibition of drawings, sculptures, prints, and ephemera by CLAES OLDENBURG from 1965 to 1991 featuring the Geometric Mouse.

The exhibition, curated by David Platzker, originates with the Mouse as Oldenburg's play on the classic profile of the old fashioned motion picture camera, two circular film canisters topping the camera's square body.

For Oldenburg the Geometric Mouse is an icon. It became the foundation for many of his signature works from the 60's and 70's including Tea Bag, Alphabet/Good Humor, and Three-Way Plug. In addition to its role as geometric touchstone, the Mouse also functions as the artist's alter ego, the procreator of objects. According to Oldenburg, "In my view the Mouse is cerebral. It is autobiographical. It refers, perhaps, to my thinking process."

Featured in the exhibition will be the first drawing of the Geometric Mouse. Executed in 1966 as a study for an announcement of Oldenburg's Happening, "Moveyhouse", the Mouse takes the form of a theatre facade. The Mouse as architecture is a common theme, well represented in the exhibition with examples including Proposal for a Facade for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, 1967 and documentation of the free-standing Mouse Museum, 1972 housing a collection of the artist's pop culture kitsch and studio debris.

While not every house can be a mouse, Oldenburg made it possible for every house to have one. The prolific Mouse sculptures pop up in all shapes and forms ranging from the cardboard table-top version Geometric Mouse : Scale D produced as an inexpensive unlimited edition to the unique Geometric Mouse : Scale X standing 25 feet high (not shown here). The exhibition concludes with Oldenburg's last work on the subject, Endless Procession of Geometric Mice, from here to eternity.

To accompany the exhibition, I.C. Editions and David Platzker will publish a new multiple from Claes Oldenburg, N.Y.C. Pretzel. The screenprinted three-ply cardboard cutout will be published in unlimited edition for $50.00. After all, mice can't live on cheese alone...

Claes Oldenburg : The Geometric Mouse opens 8 December and continues to 14 January at I.C. located 100 Wooster Street/2 floor open Wednesday to Saturday 1 to 6 PM and by appointment. For more information please contact Susan Inglett at 212/343-0573 and 212/343-0574 fax.